Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford Through The Eyes Of LincsConnect
Around me in Lincolnshire – Sleaford by LincsConnect. This is the second of my series of blogs ‘through the eyes of LincsConnect’. I’m sure you’ll find it useful.
It’s funny how a pre-conceived blog can change so much and so quickly. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Sleaford many times so the layout of the blog was already pre-conceived. However, my research made me realise how little I know about the town.
Sleaford – Getting There
Split Sleaford into three areas and you’ll realise that there is more to the town than meets the eye. We have Quarrington, Old Sleaford and New Sleaford (or ‘Sleaford’ as we know it now). New Sleaford has enveloped both Old Sleaford and Quarrington during its recent ‘growth spurt’. We can therefore be forgiven for not realising how much the landscape has changed. In fact, the landscape has changed dramatically. Over the last 250 years or so we now the ‘Old River Slea’ and the ‘New River Slea’ plus a railway line or two. I’ll talk more about the rivers later though.
The A15 running North/South come to Sleaford from Lincoln in the North and Peterborough from the South. Driving East/West the A17 links Boston through Sleaford to Newark.
The Sleaford railway station was opened in 1857 nd led to the ultimately demise of the canal. It’s the only station in the region to offer North/South ‘and’ East/West destinations. Trains run from Peterborough and Skegness as well as Nottingham and Lincoln.
Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford (Quarrington)
Quarrington is worthy of a mention on its own but is now part of the larger town of Sleaford.
The St Botolph’s Church (click the link to find them on Facebook) was originally built in the 13th Century but was rebuilt in 1812 and its tower was restored in 1887. Sunday services are being held weekly at 11.00am* with evening services via Zoom at 6.00pm. *The obvious Covid19 restrictions apply so if you would like to attend the service please pre-book by emailing your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Quarrington is located South West of Sleaford centre with the A15 to its West and A153/B1517 to its North and is thought to be the ‘mother’ parish of Old Sleaford. The walk from Quarrington is regarded as ‘easy’ and is just 3-4 miles round trip to Sleaford depending on your route:
Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford (Old Sleaford)
Old Sleaford, as you might expect, had its (Northern) border running along the Old (original) River Slea. I’ve also read that there was a Roman road running through Sleaford from Tattershall to Ancaster. My research so far suggests that I have a choice of either King Street or Bloxholm Lane. You can probably guess what town my next blog will focus on then!
Old Sleaford was possibly an iron-age tribal centre but since then it has had links with William the Conqueror in 1086 and had a castle built by Bishop Alexander of Lincoln in around 1120/30. Sadly though the castle fell into disrepair and was demolished in around 1600. During its popularity it played host to both King John and Henry VIII (separately of course)!
“The visible remains are now only a moat, a scrap of masonry (one small, toppled portion of a wall in the north-east corner of the inner bailey) and associated earthworks”. For more information visit the Wikipedia site. I’ll be paying a visit to the site soon and hope to be able to provide updated pictures.
Further reading Indicates that there was a large Manor House (the Hussey Manor House, build in 1400) at Old Place, Sleaford. It included a moat, gate house, chapel, kiln drying oven and extensive outbuildings. Sadly it was demolished in 1822 to make way for the new building. If you’re planning a visit to the area look up ‘Old Place’, Sleaford.
Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford Navigation
The river Slea surfaces to the South West of Ancaster at West Willoughby (West of Sleaford) and flows through Sleaford to South Kyme. Here it becomes the Kyme Eau and then joins the River Witham at Chapel Hill.
The River Slea and the Nine Foot River (or Nine Foot Drain) merge in Sleaford to become one River Slea. As the river passes through the town it becomes part of the Sleaford Navigation. The 12.5 miles canalisation was opened in 1794 to allow continued navigation. Inevitably (with the advent of the railway) it became redundant and fell into disrepair. Thankfully much of it has now been restored and re-opened. The Old River Slea was allowed to run its normal course (South of the canal) and the two rejoin at Cobblers Lock before becoming the Kyme Eau at South Kyme and eventually joining the River Witham.
Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford Navigation House
The old clerks office (Navigation House) serves as a visitors centre for the canal and incorporates a shop selling local produce. More importantly though it houses a museum and information centre with wall maps, information boards, TV and audio rooms and lots of interesting articles to inform the young and old alike. Built in 1838 this grade II listed building is a piece of history in its on right. When visiting be sure to make your way to Navigation Yard to have a look. I know you’ll be impressed so make it a date in your diary. For up-to-date information give them a follow on Twitter @NavigationHouse
Their current opening times are Friday to Monday 12.00pm-4.00pm. You can ring them on 01529 305904 or email email@example.com to book group tours too.
Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford Cogglesford Mill
Covid19 is still threatening its ugliness across the world but you’ll find the staff at Coggesford Watermill are very friendly and have your safety in mind. Please do contact them prior to your visit (see the YouTube video above for details). Don’t forget your mask while looking around this historic building though.
From Navigation House you’ll find Coggesford Mill just a short walk away. Look out for the Kingfishers while you’re walking along the river bank. If you’re lucky you’ll see a flash of bright blue as one goes fishing for a snack.
If you’ve come from Navigation House hopefully you bought some duck food for the inevitable feeding spectacular. It’s always a special moment for childen if you have any with you. However, for the adults you’ll find an array of freshly ground flour and other local produce in the shop at Coggesford Mill and if it’s a sunny day you may want to buy an ice cream there too.
The mill was originally a single story building but was later extended to three stories. Built in the 18th Century it’s still producing freshly ground flour to this day. Its history goes way back to Saxon times so the building we see today with its two sets of millstones is relatively modern!
Seeing and hearing the mill in action is a real treat so I do hope you get to experience it. I’ve noticed that there is now a virtual tour as well as special school trips so please do get in touch by email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to book. In fact, please do get in touch before visiting anyway as the Covid19 situation is continually changing.
It’s worth noting that Cogglesford Watermill l is undergoing some improvement and maintenance work at the moment. As a result it is temporarily closed. It’ll be open again in September though in time for the children returning to school. If you’re a teacher and would like to organise a trip please do get in touch. Follow @Cogglesford on Twitter for regular updates.
Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford Museum
This local history museum is a charity run by volunteers. Opening times are limited as I write this blog but please do visit the website and twitter page for updates as additional opening times will inevitably follow the easing of Covid19 restrictions. Don’t forget to book in before arrival to make sure they have a slot available as visits are limited to four people at a time. Keep up to date on Facebook at Sleaford Museum
Historically (excuse the pun) the museum has had exhibitions but they are limited at the moment. Checking the website will give you the full up-to-date details though.
St Deny’s Church is visible from Eastgate (A153/B1517) and is a ‘must see’ Grade I listed building dating back to the 12th Century. Click on the blue links to read more and find them on Facebook here St Deny’s Church Sleaford
Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford Places Of Interest
Sleaford certainly is a gem in the Lincolnshire countryside with lots of interesting things to do and places to visit. It’s a market town with regular markets on Mondays and Fridays plus a famers market every first Saturday of the month. It also has a thriving shopping area too with independent shops as well as some big chain stores. If you fancy some shopping and a bite to eat or a drink you’ll be spoilt for choice. Just 7 minutes drive from St Deny’s Church in Sleaford is Kirkby-La-Thorpe. Here you’ll find the 12th Century small church which also happens to be called The Church Of St Denny’s.
The Queens Head Bar And Restaurant
Kirkby-La-Thorpe is worthy of a mention because of its church of course but also the village pub which was formerly called The Queens Head Inn (on Boston Road). The original pub achieved the prestigious Top 13 Pub in the UK award with its fantastic food and great value. It closed in early 2019 due to a combination of COVID19 and the death of a former owner. Since then it has been taken over by a new team who’ve been putting in the hours and hard work to completely renovate and rejuvenate it. New menus are planned with the emphasis on locally sourced produce.
The Queens Head team have been posting their progress on Twitter so if you would like to follow their journey click on this link: @QueensKirkby now. You can join in with the chat there and watch the changes being made as well as the new menus coming to life.
Cocktails At The Queens
The Queens Head is set to open its doors once again as a pub on 19 July 2021 and the restaurant will be opening shortly after. Put Sunday 1 August in your diary for the restaurant but don’t forget to book your table in advance to avoid disappointment. I have no doubt that this is going to be a very popular local pub and restaurant once again.
Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford Music
You can’t really write about Sleaford without mentioning the Saboteurs so sit back and have a listen to one or two of their songs. They bill themselves as ‘alternative’ and ‘grunge’ but I just like their modern Indie feel. Have a listen and make up your own mind.
Sleaford seems to have more that it’s fair share of music opportunities so it wouldn’t be right to omit the Sleaford Live Fest which is (normally) held in May every year. Follow them on Twitter @Sleaford_Live and Facebook Sleaford Live Festival where you’ll find lots of links to local music and arts events. Indie rock or folk music isn’t for everyone of course so if you prefer choral music, Sleaford has that too. Normal rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings with at least three concerts each year. However, with the onslaught of the dreaded Covid19, rehearsals have been put on hold until August 2021. For more information take a look at the Sleaford Choral Society website and don’t forget to follow them on Twitter too @ChoralSleaford
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WhatsOnLincs – Sleaford Oktoberfest
The annual Oktoberfest organised by Sleaford round Table has been around since 2011 but had the obvious break during the Coronavirus pandemic. As a charity fund raising event the Oktoberfest raised a whopping £11,500 in 2019. With your help I’m sure it’ll raise even more this year.
With drinks, music and entertainment planned it’s bound to be a good event. Sixteen different breweries will be involved including five from Lincolnshire. In addition there will be lager, cider and perry on sale too plus a gin and schnapps bar. I think pretty much all tastes will be catered for!
The bar will be open until midnight each night (from 6.00pm on Thursday and Friday and from 12.00pm on Saturday) with an Oompah band entertaining from 4.00pm and 7.15pm on Saturday. The band line up can be found by visiting the Sleaford Oktoberfest website.
It’s all happening at the Boston Road Recreation Ground and free parking is available. It’s a ticket free event so please pay at the entrance where you’ll be issued with a wristband to prove payment.
More Places To Visit
This blog really could go and and on as there are so many places to visit in the Sleaford area. The blog isn’t a definitive ‘what’s on’ for the area though so as a result I’ll cut the next bit short just to give you a taster:
Rauceby Hall will be opening its gates to welcome visitors once again from 14 to 18 July 2021. Visitors to Rauceby Hall are invited to see the performances of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ which will be performed by Sleaford Playhouse Theatre who can be found on Facebook and Twitter @SleafordTheatre
Tickets are on sale for the performances so if you want to join the fun just click on the picture below to go to the ticket office:
If walking is your preferred form of relaxation and mindfulness then Sleaford has certainly got you covered. The River Slea and Canal offer scenic routes with locks and mills being just part of the delights. This is one of the routes provided by Sleaford Navigation which I’m sure you will enjoy. Keep your eyes open for the Haverholme Priory too. Follow the link to read about the sad demise of the priory building. Personally I think it’s really quite tragic.
Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford – Charity
Charity begins with you and me but with so many charities needing our help it’s difficult to know which ones to choose. This North Kesteven website has a list of local charities in Sleaford so if you’re able to donate or volunteer please do click on the picture below for more information:
In Case You Missed It
Take a look back at some of the previous blogs to see what you might have missed. Click on the picture to go straight to the blog:
Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford
That’s it for now. I hope you enjoy my local ‘Around Me’ blogs. I’ll be grateful for any comments and feedback so feel free to email me at email@example.com
If you would like me to visit your town please do let me know. Advertising comes with a FREE link to the blog for as long as you want it so you can use it again and again to help promote your business or charity.
Look after yourself and each other